32 years in Cambridge

Mr Hiroshi Shimura

Saturday, 05 May, 2007; 7:45-9:00pm

Seminar room, No1. Newnham Terrace, Darwin College

It was January 1975, when I arrived at Cambridge for the first time. My intention was not a long stay for study in this university town but to look around the world. I was a postgraduate of a University in Tokyo. I was not an artist or a photographer yet. I was just a sightseer. Later, I encountered many chances and extended my stay year by year, I was allowed to stay as an artist and have remained in Cambridge until today.
When I look back on my 32 years' stay in this medieval university town, although some college scenes remain almost the same all the time, the world has not been monotonous at all. I realized the changes clearly as I looked at the town and people's lives. When I came to Cambridge in the beginning of 1975, Vietnam War was still on, the Iranian revolution was yet to take place, and many Iranian people were seen in town. It was rare to see students or sightseers from China or Korea. Exchange rate for a pound was almost 800 yen. Bus ticket cost me only 10 pence. I was able to see a film at Arts Cinema for as little as 20 pence.
There was no PC or Internet in this world. Nobody had expected such rapid revolution of IT. Bubble economy had swell and burst in Japan. Mrs. Thatcher changed structure of British society. Relationship between Japan and UK or Cambridge University also had to change. And English climate has changed too. English winter used to be severe and the River Cam froze over some times. I remember some cheerful students cycled on the frozen river.
I am going to show photographs and video of most interesting scenes and talk about my 32 years in Cambridge. Cambridge University 800th anniversary is two years away and many projects are in progress. I hope my 32 years experiences are long enough to change your impression on Cambridge.